Delightful Day Trip to College Park

By Charlotte Sturm, Host Committee Member

You might be wondering, with all of the amazing things on offer in Washington, D.C., why would you ever bother exploring the District’s surrounding areas. Well, let me try to convince you by telling you a little bit about all of the things you can see and do (and eat!) in College Park MD, one of DC’s many flourishing suburban communities. Most destinations mentioned in this blog post are Metro accessible from the College Park_U of Md Metro Station (Green Line), but they do require a bit of walking.

The College Park Aviation Museum is within easy walking distance of the College Park-U of Md Metro Station. Co-located with the College Park Airport, the Museum is the site of America’s first military flight school. Exhibit areas focus first on the military history of aviation in College Park; museum visitors then move through other exhibit areas which highlight the early history of air mail service, the exploits of daring early aviators, and the achievements of innovative aircraft inventors, designers, and engineers. The museum also examines aviation from social history and local history perspectives in featured exhibits such as Over Here & Over There: Aviation & Prince George’s County During World War I.


Aviators, College Park, Md. July 1, 1919, Parachute experiments; Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division [LC-DIG-npcc-18478]

Another exhibit, The Plane of Tomorrow, Today! delves into the personal aircraft craze of the post-World War II era, with a specific focus on the manufacturing and marketing history of the Ercoupe, a personal use aircraft manufactured in Riverdale MD, just south of College Park. Museum visitors can see both a full Ercoupe and a cutaway view of the plane. Interspersed throughout the exhibits are features on women aviators, and a multi-panel exhibit on the mezzanine level highlights the first African Americans to operate a licensed airport in Maryland, the Columbia Air Center. The Museum is a great destination for kids too, offering plenty of interactive areas to try flight simulators, dress up as aviators, and climb around in 2 different aircrafts.


Ercoupe, College Park Aviation Museum; author’s personal photograph

Grab a quick snack or a full meal at one of the four new eateries at The Hotel at the University of Maryland, located about a mile from the College Park-U of Md Metro Station. Bagels ‘n Grinds offers tasty bagels and other baked goods, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Potomac Pizza serves up pizza, sandwiches, subs, wraps, calzones, and Italian fare. For those with more time to spare at meal time (and more to spend), the Old Maryland Grill (with the very clever acronym OMG) creates Maryland-inspired dishes using fresh and regionally-sourced ingredients. Seafood offerings feature prominently on the lunch and dinner menus, including a well-stocked raw bar, and adult beverage choices showcase local beers, wines, and spirits. The small plates of delectable Mediterranean foods at Kapnos Taverna allow diners to sample and share a variety of dishes without filling up on just one thing. The dolmades, bifteki, and roasted salmon are all highly recommended. The sampler of three spreads with flatbread is a great starter, sure to please everyone at your table.

Across the street from The Hotel is the University of Maryland itself. Take a stroll around the beautiful campus, full of stately brick buildings thoughtfully intermixed with more modern glass, concrete, and steel structures. With its long fountain surrounded by academic building and leafy trees, McKeldin Mall is a serene place for a brief respite. Hornbake Library, home to the University Archives and Special Collections, will be hosting SAA attendees on Wednesday evening for a tour of the George Meany Labor History Archives. Tucked away outside of Stamp Student Union is a charming statue of University of Maryland alumnus Jim Henson in conversation with his most famous creation, Kermit the Frog. And various incarnations of Testudo, UMD’s terrapin mascot, can be found in statue form across campus; rub the nose of one of the bronze Testudo statues for good luck!


Bronze statue of the University of Maryland’s mascot, Testudo; By Bgervais [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, GFDL ( or Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

For those willing to wander further afield and those seeking a bit of nature, a visit to Lake Artemesia in nearby Berwyn Heights will fit the bill. The walking trail around the man-made lake is an easy walk or bike ride for all, and you might see finches, orioles, ibis, and other birds while on the Luther Goldman Birding Trail. Other walking and biking trails in the College Park area, including the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail (formerly known as the College Park Trolley Trail) and the Paint Branch Trail and Northeast Branch Trail (both of which are segments of the Anacostia Tributary Trail System) are all lovely routes for some outdoor explorations.

With so much to see and do in College Park and its surrounding areas, we do hope you’ll make time for a visit. When you return to the conference in DC, share your fun experiences and perhaps your newfound appreciation for the oft-maligned suburbs with your friends and colleagues so they can plan a play date in College Park too.


DC Weather: August Can Be Hazy, Hot, and Humid

By Mandie Vasquez, Host Committee Member

weather blog 2

Men with weather balloon on roof of the U.S. Weather Bureau Building in Washington, DC Library of Congress

Congress has traditionally taken their recess in August because of the oppressive heat and humidity the month brings. While July is the hottest month in Washington, August is not far behind. According to the Weather Chanel, the average high temperature in the city for the month of August is 87 °F degrees and the average low is 70 °F. The record high for the month is 106 °F. The local meteorologists describe DC’s weather at hazy, hot, and humid.

Back in May, NBC4 Meteorologist Doug Kammerer predicted that this summer would be particularly warm, observing that 2018 had similar weather patterns compared to 2012, which was brutally hot. He explained that the DC area averages 36 days at or above 90 °F per year, but 2012 saw 53 days at or above 90 °F and 8 days at or above100 °F. Time will tell if this summer will be a record breaking heatwave, but so far this summer has been hot.

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August 2017 predictions NBC4 Washington

“I didn’t realize I needed an umbrella today!”

The midday heat and humidity frequently give way to afternoon thunderstorms. A bright and sunny August day can dramatically change when dark storm clouds quickly approach. These ominous storm clouds travel from the west to the east. Many times these storms pass through quickly, and occasionally they can be violent and produce tornadoes. The DC area averages 2.93 inches of rain in August. While visiting DC you are more likely to experience a quick, but heavy, rain fall, than a washout, rainy day. An umbrella is still recommended.

weather blog nbc4

Late afternoon storm preparations NBC4 Washington


Bring a sweater

A savvy traveler always dresses in layers. Be prepared to be warm while walking around. Another good piece of advice for summertime in Washington, DC: be prepared and carry a sweater. To combat the heat and humidity, restaurants, offices, and hotel conference centers blast their air conditioning. The contrast between the blazing heat from the summer sun and the frigid temperatures of the air conditioning can be a shock to the system, especially if you were caught in an afternoon storm. If you are prone to being cold, pack that awesome archivist’s cardigan!

Drug Stores and Other Traveler Needs

By John Martinez, Host Committee Member

Sometimes when you are on the road you have unexpected needs. Maybe you forgot to refill a prescription before you left, or you have a dying cellphone, or you just need to withdraw some cash. Here are a few resources that we pulled together in case the unexpected occurs while you are at the conference.


For your ATM and other banking needs, there is an ATM machine in the Marriott Wardman Park, and there are several options nearby. M&T Bank is one of the closest to the hotel, at 2620 Connecticut Ave NW. A bit further away are the Bank of America Financial Center at 1835 Columbia Rd NW, and Wells Fargo at 1804 Adams Mill Rd NW. Continuing south on Connecticut Ave, you will find TD Bank at 1753 Connecticut Ave NW.

vaultLibrary of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division [LC-DIG-highsm-17566]

Drug Stores

Closest to the Marriott Wardman Park is the CVS at 2601 Connecticut Ave NW. A bit further south is the Rite Aid at 1815 Connecticut Ave NW, and a bit further north at 3000 Connecticut Ave NW is Cathedral Pharmacy. If Walgreen’s is your preference, you can jump on the Metro to the Dupont Circle station to get to the nearest one at 1217 22nd St NW.

28986vLibrary of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division [LC-DIG-npcc-28986] 

Dry Cleaners

If you have a last-minute wardrobe emergency (or just need your outfit pressed before your presentation), there are several dry cleaners nearby. Debonair 1 Hour Dry Cleaners is at 2612 Connecticut Ave NW, and practically next door is Custom Cleaners at 2637 Connecticut Ave NW. A bit further east is The Press Dry Cleaning & Laundry at 1963 Calvert St NW, and one Metro stop north (near the Cleveland Park station) is Uptown 1 Hour Cleaners at 3333 Connecticut Ave NW.

8b31570rLibrary of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division [LC-DIG-fsa-8b31570]

Electronics and Mobile Service Providers

A few stops north on the Red Line near the Tenleytown-AU Metro station is one big-box option, Best Buy at 4500 Wisconsin Ave NW, or a short ride south to the Metro Center station puts you near the Staples at 1250 H St NW. If a trip to the Apple Store is a must, you’ll have a bit of a trip to Apple Georgetown at 1229 Wisconsin Ave NW.

For mobile providers you can find:

T-Mobile at 1796 Columbia Rd NW

AT&T at 1759 Columbia Rd NW

Boost Mobile at 1737 Columbia Rd NW

Cricket Wireless at 1652 Columbia Rd NW

A stop or two away on the Red Line between the Dupont Circle station and Farragut North station, you can find these providers nearby:

Sprint Store at 1208 18th St NW

T-Mobile at 1146 Connecticut Ave NW

Verizon at 1736 L St NW

04529vLibrary of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division [LC-DIG-mrg-04529]

Urgent Care

For non-emergency, non-life threatening medical care needs, there are a few options in the area, though none are very close to the hotel. Two stops down the Red Line near the Farragut North station is Farragut Medical and Travel Care at 815 Connecticut Ave NW. MedStar PromptCare Adams Morgan is a bit closer to the hotel at 1805 Columbia Road, while GW Immediate and Primary Care is at 2902 Porter St NW, near the Cleveland Park Metro station.

8b26520vLibrary of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division [LC-DIG-fsa-8b26520]

Be A Leader, Be A Friend, Be of Service

By Danna Bell, Host Committee Co-Chair

In 1979 I became a member of the Zeta Delta Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity. APhiO has three major prinicples: leadership, friendship and service. And one of the first things that we are taught is to Be a Leader, Be a Friend but most importantly to be of service.

I have been amazed at the number of APhiO’s I’ve met during my time as an archivist and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that developing service programs has become an integral part of the annual conference. This year we will have one external service project and two that you can participate in while at the conference hotel.

friends of DC archives

Courtesy of the Friends of the DC Archives website

The external service project will support the D. C. Archives which is also known as the D.C. Office of Public Records.  The D.C. Archives has faced a number of challenges but through the work of Administrator Rebecca Katz and her small staff there have been steps to improve the archive and insure the protection of the records of the District of Columbia. To learn more about the activities of the D.C. Archives read a report from Matthew Gilmore, one of the editors of H-DC

The DC Archives has many boxes that are damaged or otherwise in poor condition and need to be replaced. Volunteers will work in the stacks in teams of 2 to identify boxes that need replacing, assemble the replacement boxes, move the contents to the new boxes, and label the new boxes accurately. If you are interested in participating in this service project please send an email to . You can also send questions if you want to know more about the project.

Participants will meet at the front desk of the Wardman Park Marriott at 8:30am to take the Metro together from Woodley Park to Mt. Vernon Square and then will walk one-block walk to Naylor Court where the Archives is located. This will involve changing from the Red to the Green line at Gallery Place.

If you read some of the articles published in Archival Outlook you will see that we had hoped to have a service project with Capital Area Food Bank but were unable to arrange that project. If you want to volunteer for them or donate to the Food Bank you can find the link to their website here. Click on volunteer to learn more.

What if you aren’t going to be here in time to volunteer at the DC Archives? There are other options to offer your support to organizations in the community. As some of you know I am the owner of two rescues dogs. I knew that I wanted to continue supporting a rescue as we have at the past few conferences.

10639615_726186450785885_7689963954733682122_nIt’s my pleasure to ask that this year we provide donations to Knine Rescue. Knine Rescue  has found homes for many dogs and has accepted dogs that were abandoned, abused or rescued from hoarding or puppy mill situations. I spoke to the head of Knine Rescue and though she has provided a list of needs on the website she noted that given the medical care many of the dogs need after rescue money is always appreciated. We’ll have a box where you can drop off donations. They do love hand crocheted or knitted blankets as they put them in with a group of puppies when they adopt a family and when each puppy goes to its forever home it gets one of the blankets with all of the smells of its litter mates.

If you decide to donate cash, checks or gift certificates we’ll have a place where you can drop them off at the registration desk. If you use PayPal. Amazon Smile or IGive please make sure to indicate that the donation is from the Joint CoSA/NAGARA/SAA conference/

We do have another option for those of you who like to knit and crochet. Create 7″ x 9″ squares for Warm Up America. Squares should be made out of washable yarn. For those of you that don’t bring your needles or need yarn we’ll have some available at the donation table. If there is enough interest we may be able to join the squares together to make a blanket during the conference.wualogo

Hopefully one of these ideas will inspire you to be of service to the Washington, D.C. community during your time at the conference. If you have questions drop me a line at

Tours, Open Houses and Other Events (Part 2)

By Danna Bell, Host Committee Co-Chair

In part one of this series we focused on tours and open houses taking place on Tuesday. This post focuses on Wednesday tours and open houses. Please be aware that some tours have a limited number of spaces available and you need to register in advance. Contact information for each tour is provided on SCHED.

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution 
10:00 am
Participants limited to 15.

NSDAR Archives houses the records that document the rich and compelling history of the DAR, founded in Washington in 1890. Come get up close and personal with documents written by America’s founding parents, see an exhibit featuring an account of the extraordinary war relief work performed by DAR members during WWI, and find out how DAR plans to commemorate the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington 
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Participants limited to 30.

Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Washington Library’s special collections and archives. The tour will include a visit to the library’s main reading room as well as access to the closed stacks and the rare books and manuscripts suite. Several highlights from our collections will be on display, along with an up-close look at some of Washington’s books. The library is located at George Washington’s historic home at Mount Vernon, so you may also want to visit the Mansion, Education Center, and museum.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division 
Tours offered at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm
Participants limited to 15.

The Prints and Photographs Division offers an open house highlighting visual collections. The Division holds more than 15 million images, including photographs, historical prints, posters, cartoons, documentary drawings, fine prints, and architectural and engineering designs. While international in scope, the collections are particularly strong in materials documenting the history of the United States and the lives, interests and achievements of the American people.

Participants limited to 25.
Tickets must be purchased in advance.

The mission of the Newseum is to increase understanding of the importance of the free press.  Through exhibits, visitors experience the story of news, particularly through the lens of major events in history.  During the tour participants will meet the Registrar, Senior Manager of Collections, and the Print News Archivists.

There will be plenty of time to tour exhibits on your own.


Albert H. Small Center for National Capital Area Studies
11:00 am – 2:00 pm

During this open house, staff will display a sample books relating to D.C. history, including rare books and bound congressional acts tracing the city’s development as well as an extensive flat-file collection of maps, illustrative prints, newspapers, and tourist ephemera items.

Arthur D. Jenkins Library of Textile Arts 
11:00 am – 2:00 pm

As a leading resource for the study of textiles, the library’s multilingual collection offers researchers access to artistic, cultural, historical, and technical information related to the textile arts. Highlights that will be on display include rare out-of-print books, beautifully illustrated monographs, and the personal documents of important textile scholars such as Irene Emery and Charles Grant Ellis.

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Participants limited to 15.

The Archives of American Art offers a “behind-the-scenes” tour of the reading room, storage, digitization, and processing spaces. Staff members will offer an introduction to AAA’s reference services, collections processing, and digitization workflows, and share a selection of documents from recent acquisitions.
As a research center within the Smithsonian Institution, AAA is the world’s preeminent and most widely used repository dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing access to primary sources that document the history of the visual arts in America.

American Folklife Center 
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Participants limited to 15.

The American Folklife Center Archive, established in the Library of Congress Music Division in 1928, is now one of the largest archives of ethnographic materials from the United States and around the world, encompassing millions of items of ethnographic and historical documentation recorded from the nineteenth century to the present. On this tour, staff will give an overview of the collections, of the reading room and listening stations, and of our acquisitions, processing, and reference activities.

Peabody Room 
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Participants limited to 15.

The Peabody Room is a special collection of Georgetown neighborhood history, including subject vertical files, photographs, maps, neighborhood microfilmed newspapers, paintings, engravings, and artifacts that document various aspects of Georgetown life. It also features a house history file for nearly every home in Georgetown.  Visitors will tour the reading room, archival storage rooms, and see the best bird’s-eye view of Georgetown!
George Meany Labor History Archives (University of Maryland) 
6:30 pm
Participants limited to 35.

The tour will explore the exhibit “For Liberty, Justice and Equality: Unions Making History in America,” which investigates the intersections between the history of many social justice movements and organized labor. With hundreds of unique artifacts, the exhibit focuses on the labor movement’s involvement with issues of economic equality, including the struggle for the eight-hour day and a living wage; reveals its deep roots with the civil rights’ and women’s movements; and documents lesser-known connections with the movements for LGBTQ equality, immigrant rights, religious freedom, environmental justice and international workers’ solidarity. The tour will end with a behind-the-scenes look at the collections from which the exhibit items were drawn.